First major British exhibition in 40 years developed in partnership between the British Museum and National Museums Scotland to be shown in London this September and Edinburgh in March 2016 to tell the story of the Celts.
This is the first major exhibition to examine the full history of Celtic art and identity, which is organised in partnership with National Museums Scotland. The story unfolds over 2,500 years, from the first recorded mention of ‘Celts’ to an exploration of contemporary Celtic influences. Many objects provide clues to raise questions about Celtic identity. From the depths of the River Thames come magnificent Iron Age treasures such as the Waterloo helmet and the Battersea shield. Roman jewellery, early medieval manuscripts and crosses, a Liberty tea set and even a modern football shirt tell a constantly evolving British and Irish story. Major loans, such as the spectacular Gundestrup cauldron, reveal profound cultural connections across Europe.
The fascinating art and history explored in the exhibition have deep-rooted resonances for those in Britain, Ireland and the global Celtic diaspora today, influencing everything from music and literature to sport and spirituality. We shall discover how this identity has been revived and reinvented over the centuries, across Britain, Europe and beyond.